In: Venture Capital

This Google job application asks applicants to improve the search engine’s homepage
March 12, 2016

Google has come up with a novel way to weed out candidates for its Google Creative Lab, a yearlong internship-like program where people work on experimental technology such as the recently launched Chrome Music Lab.
Rather than just provide a conventional form that applicants fill out, Google is now asking applicants to do something fun: redesign one iteration of the Google homepage.
And rather than make some special site, the Google Creative Lab just stuck this very interactive job application right on its homepage, as It’s Nice That points out. If you close the window, the site saves your work, so you can pick up where you’ve left off.
This is certainly out of the box as far as job applications go, and something that you would expect from an experimental division of Google.
But this is not the first very inventive scheme for impressing talented people in the process of bringing them onboard. Google has previously deployed a special program that looks out for people who search th..

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How Apple CEO Tim Cook became Silicon Valley’s conscience
March 12, 2016

ANALYSIS:
With Apple facing what may be one of its most challenging periods in a decade, it would certainly be understandable if Apple CEO Tim Cook put his head down and just focused on products.
Instead, Cook has continued to elevate his public profile by tackling political and social causes in a way that stands in stark contrast to his predecessor, Steve Jobs, who was legendarily apolitical. And beyond just embracing these issues, Cook has often been the first tech executive into the breach, with Apple’s Silicon Valley brethren following in his wake.
The hand-to-hand combat between Apple and the FBI is a perfect example of Cook’s willingness to take a strong public stand. The company is waging both a legal and public relations battle over an issue that doesn’t just affect Apple, but potentially almost every tech company and, indeed, the fundamental relationship between citizens and the government.
Of course, the U.S. government has accused Apple and Cook of being motivated by pur..

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New Yo-Kai Watch puzzle game hits March 24 for iOS and Android
March 12, 2016

Yo-Kai is too big for the Nintendo 3DS to handle on its own, so the next game in the franchise is headed to mobile.
Level-5 revealed today that Yo-Kai Watch: Wibble Wobble launches on iOS and Android on March 24. This is a new puzzle game where players must tap on jellified “Wib Wob” versions of the characters from the 3DS original to make them perform attacks in battles. This takes the monster-collecting, Pokémon-like action of the core Yo-Kai Watch and makes it play more like the mega-lucrative Puzzle & Dragons, which makes around $1 billion annually primarily from players in Japan. Level-5, working with developer NHN PlayArt, is moving this franchise into the $34.8 billion mobile gaming market to cpature younger players that are moving from Nintendo portables to Google and Apple smartphones.
Yo-Kai Watch finally came to the West in November. Nintendo published the game, and Disney is broadcasting the animated show on its DisneyXD cable channel. This has helped the brand build up t..

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Obama looks to SXSW for ideas and tech to modernize government
March 6, 2016

Inside the Oval Office, President Barack Obama has models of American inventions — like the telegraph — which he says serve as a “daily reminder of the genius embedded in our DNA” and represent the way “we’ve always shaped the future through our ideas and discovery.” As he nears the end of his presidency, Obama is turning his attention to spurring innovation within the federal government.
It’s for this reason that the president will be attending this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. In his weekly address, Obama explained that he’ll be asking “everyone for ideas and technologies to update our government and our democracy to be as modern and as dynamic as America itself.” He said that this has always been a goal of his, especially in light of the role technology played when he first ran for president in 2008: “We saw how technology could bring people together and help them engage as citizens in their communities. When I came to the White House, I..

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Xbox Live is down: Microsoft is investigating why users can’t sign in (Update: Fixed)
March 6, 2016

Microsoft’s Xbox Live service is once again experiencing issues. Users are unable to sign in, and Microsoft is investigating what the problem might be.
Ironically, we first spotted the issue without even being on an Xbox. At 9:23 a.m. Pacific, we tried playing Minecraft for Windows. The game requires logging into Xbox Live, but because the service is spitting out error 0x87DD0006 (“This may mean that there was a service outage just before you tried to sign in”), we can’t play. Next, we tried signing into Skype on an Xbox One, but the console also reported that signing in wasn’t working.
A quick search on Twitter showed us that others are also experiencing the problem. It’s not yet clear how many users are affected, but Microsoft has confirmed the problem:
We're aware of reports of users unable to sign into Xbox Live. We'll be investigating to get you back on track, thanks for your patience!
— Xbox Support (1-5) (@XboxSupport) March 5, 2016
Microsoft’s Xbox Live Status su..

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Convicted hacker Guccifer gets U.S. extradition for exposing Bush family emails and artwork
March 6, 2016

(Reuters) – Romania’s top court has approved a request by U.S. authorities to extradite a convicted hacker known as Guccifer, a source within Romania’s DIICOT anti-organized crime and terrorism unit told Reuters on Friday.
“The court approved an 18-month temporary extradition to America for the hacker. This follows a request made by U.S. authorities,” the source said.
A Romanian justice ministry spokeswoman said details of the extradition request had not yet been made public.
The U.S. Justice Department said in 2014 that a U.S. federal grand jury had indicted Marcel Lazar Lehel on charges of wire fraud, unauthorized access to a protected computer, aggravated identity theft, cyberstalking and obstruction of justice.
The United States accuses Lehel, known by aliases including “Guccifer” and “Small Fume”, of stealing data from email and social media accounts of U.S. celebrities and politicians.
Lehel was sentenced by a Romanian court to four years in jail in 2014 for illegally access..

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Coworking spaces are on the rise — here’s why
March 6, 2016

GUEST:
I remember, when I was first starting out, the whole concept of a coworking space seemed strange.
Why would people pay for a desk at a shared communal space instead of getting their own office space?
Today however, I love the concept of coworking spaces so much that when it was time for my fund, Singapore based Life.SREDA to open its office, I insisted on converting it to a coworking space that would not only service us and our portfolio but also would provide a space for any startup to work, free of charge.
I firmly believe that the existence of multiple, specialised coworking facilities is an indication of a healthy entrepreneurial scene.
There is something about these spaces, an almost tangible aura that just makes working easier and results in a greater results.
The figures, it seem would agree with me as according to Deskmag’s 2016 Global Coworking forcast, 62 percent of coworking space owners said that they are actively looking to expand their spaces as opposed to 59..

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CMOs: ‘Technographics’ is the new demographics
March 6, 2016

GUEST:
Smart businesses that recognize the value of an outside-in perspective have long analyzed attributes like demographics and firmographics in an attempt to better understand their customer base. In particular, consumer marketers have tailored messaging around characteristics like age, gender, marital status, or household income. Business-to-business marketers on the other hand, logically focus their marketing messages on a different version of similar data for companies, like number of employees, industry, revenues, and growth rate.
While it’s still important for any business to comprehend the demographic and firmographic makeup of its customers, we’re now seeing marketers begin to adopt an invaluable new lens, called technography, that attempts to better understand a customer by analyzing their tech stack. By figuring out what a company’s technology stack says about them, managers can define technographic profiles and determine next-best actions that match each prospective cust..

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5 rules for adapting your company to the age of group-storytelling
March 6, 2016

GUEST:
2016 will be the year social storytelling shifts from “me” to “we”, where one-off posts focused on me, me, me, will give way to people using social media and technology to not just link their stories but collaborate in sharing the story of our lives and society in real-time.
We saw hints of this last year in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris as millions of people around the world posted videos of themselves expressing grief, shock, outrage, and hope. In the first 24 hours following the attacks, Instagram reported more than 70 million people using the service to share their support and prayers.
What this illustrates is that we wanted these interactions to be part of the larger social story, and the mainstream media covered it that way. There were stories in The New York Times and on CNN.com that did not just report on the impact of social media but leveraged videos and photos posted to social media to support their own coverage.
The shift from me to we and the our demands..

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Amazon to restore encryption to Fire tablets after complaints
March 6, 2016

(Reuters) – Amazon said it plans to restore an encryption feature on its Fire tablets after customers and privacy advocates criticized the company for quietly removing the security option when it released its latest operating system.
Above: The new Amazon Fire tablet is displayed during a media event introducing new Amazon products in San Francisco, California September 16, 2015.
Image Credit: Reuters/Beck Diefenbach “We will return the option for full-disk encryption with a Fire OS update coming this spring,” company spokeswoman Robin Handaly told Reuters via email on Saturday.
Amazon’s decision to drop encryption from the Fire operating system came to light late this week. The company said it had removed the feature in a version of its Fire OS that began shipping in the fall because few customers used it.
On-device encryption scrambles data so that the device can be accessed only if the user enters the correct password. Well-known cryptologist Bruce Schneier called Amazon’s remova..

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